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Tampa celebrates MLK

During a speech at Beulah Baptist Institutional Church in South Tampa on Monday, Vice President of Student Affairs Jennifer Meningall offered positive advice in a celebration that honored Martin Luther King Jr. “Remember, celebrate and act,” said Meningall, the keynote speaker at the event.

She said King is an example of the many who deserve to be honored, remembered and celebrated because they sacrificed their lives so that people could do the things they do today.

“Give honor to whom honors are due,” Meningall said.

She advised to live a life of purpose and to make changes.

“God designed a plan for each of us so that we can have the opportunity to make changes,” she said.

She also said that to “live on,” we have to do some work.

“If you think about the sacrifices (King) made, he must have been asking for strength,” Meningall said. “Every day, he lived his life to make a change. We have the ability to make a change, but we have to make a decision that we are not alone.”

She said it’s up to everyone to do the work and unite each other.

Members of the USF Gospel Choir also lifted their voices, clapped and danced during the opening of the event.

“It’s about bringing different cultures together, and it’s that one special time of the year that the community gets together to celebrate it,” said Javoski Arnold, a senior majoring in social work.

W. James Favorite, the 63-year-old pastor, who has been involved with the church for nearly a decade, said the celebration is done yearly.

“This is the celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King,” he said. “Everyone is involved, and no one is excluded. This day is about promoting race relations, ethnicity and diversity. We are all God’s children regardless of race, creed and color.”

Favorite said churches, business leaders and elected officials are highly involved in this event.

He also said this event is called “A Taste of the Community” because of its festive mood, which involves a parade with marching bands trumpeting different tunes, floats sporting different colors and a free luncheon.